Double world endurance champion Freddy Foray will ride Ryuichi Kiyonari's Samsung Honda at this weekend's MCE British Superbike round at Silverstone, after the Japanese rider ruled himself out with shoulder injuries following a motocross crash.
The French rider has been competing in the German IDM series for the official Honda team, and currently sits seventh in the championship. The former Le Mans and Bol d'Or winner has sat out endurance racing this year due to date clashes.
However, he also has previous experience in British Superbikes, racing for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team in the first half of 2012 before parting company with them after complaining about machinery problems.
The double DNS ends any remaining hopes of Kiyonari lifting his fourth British title, with a poor start to the season leaving him some 37 points adrift of championship leader Shane Byrne even before this weekend's potential 50 points were denied to him.
Foray, who has never ridden at Silverstone despite considerable international experience, said: “Of course, I want to wish Kiyo a quick recovery but I am grateful to Samsung Honda for this opportunity. I have not ridden at Silverstone before but I have done many laps on my MotoGP game on Playstation! I am excited to ride the Samsung Honda, which will be a little bit different to my IDM machine, but I am not so worried about the change in tyres. I think the difference between Dunlop and Pirelli tyres is not so big as a few years ago. Both are very good, so I am looking forward to this weekend.”
Team manager Havier Beltran commented to say: ”The Samsung Honda team are very much looking forward to Silverstone and continuing the progress that we have been making in both the Superbike and Supersport classes. Alex arrives this weekend still very confident because his momentum has been growing over the past few rounds and that was always the aim; to end the main season strongly and carry that into the Showdown. Of course, we’re sorry that Kiyo won’t be with us this weekend, but we’re looking forward to working with Freddy and hoping he can support Alex. We did offer it to Jason but he declined as he feels he has unfinished business in Supersport and wanted to focus on achieving a race win before the end of the season. “